Another gray ensemble anyone?

I have a lot of gray clothes so this was one Angie ensemble I could pull off.

What do you think?

First Picture - today's outfit
Purse -- Fossil
Booties -- Seychelles
Jeans -- Indigo Rein (cheap junior's brand from TJ Maxx)
Cardigan -- Vince
Top -- Vince

Scarf -- Zara

Second Picture - worn last month
Same cardigan, booties, bag as above (buying matching boots and bag was my great idea for A/W 2014!)
Belt is from Madewell
Jeans -- Kut
Top -- Looks like a plain white tee, can't tell!

Scarf -- TJ Maxx


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WIW December 2014

Hi and welcome to 2015!  It's been a while since I uploaded my WIWs so just for fun, here we go.

1/2 -- Worn New Year's Eve.  Both the tunic shirt and vest are from SSIF.  The necklace was an emergency purchase from the Macy's discount jewelry digging table.  Emergency because I forgot to bring jewelry with me the last time I went to the opera. 

3 -- High rise AYR jeans along with my favorite Zara jacket from 2012.  I love it because it gives me shoulders.

4 -- Christmas party.  Remember the Trina Turk dress I got off eBay?  Here I am trying to make it more "me" with the same leather moto.

5 -- My at-home winter FFBO.  I know scarves are not the best thing for my short neck but they feel so soft and cozy and insulate me from the chill.  

6 -- I've just realized that three out of these five outfits feature black skinnies.  Rolled.  :-)  The sweatshirt is from BLK DNM and the shirt, from The North Face.  I love the way they go together.

Thanks for looking and commenting!

ETA -- Debbie and I are Zara tunic shirt lemming sisters!


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PMWIW -- Rustic West and Alaskagirl Inspired

I'm sorry I've been mostly absent the past few days.  I've been under the weather -- fighting something intestinal -- and had to take some rest, I'm better now but have had a long work day, so again, no time.

Here's my photography contribution.  I really enjoyed this part of the challenge, and hope to make more effort in the future.

1/2 -- Here's another homage to Clint Eastwood, complete with sepia tone effect.  Picture 2 is the outfit in color.  You've seen these pieces many times, including the Ross poncho, now in its 4th season.

3 -- This is the Una / Alaskagirl look.  What do you think?  Does pink go with layered green?

Thanks for looking and commenting!


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PMWIW Challenge I -- Everyday Real

I am currently making more of an effort to look not just casual but smart casual in my everyday, at home outfits.  These were outfits I wore before starting work at 3 pm.  All outfits rely heavily on my favorites -- sweaters, skinnies and ankle boots.

1 -- Yesterday.  Black skinnies + black turtleneck + navy vest with black faux leather pockets.  The only thing new here is the Ann Taylor navy vest.  I know black near my face it not my best color and fairly aging, so I'm considering purging this turtleneck.  What do you think?  Am I allowed to have some black tops or should I let go of them?

2 -- Today.  Vintage cashmere sweater + white shirt + dark wash skinnies + brown Western style booties.  Everything here is 3 plus years old, I think the shirt is the newest piece.  They don't make cashmere like they used to.  This has not a hint of pilling and it was worn all the time in the late 90s when I purchased it.  Do you think the sweater still works or does it look dated?  I might have quality cashmere goggles on.

Thanks for looking and commenting and participating in the challenge!


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WIW - October Casual

The other day I looked at my YLF blog homepage and felt disappointed by my WIWs compared to past years.  I could be simply not posting enough outfits.  Or I'm getting lazy about photos and locations.  Or I'm in a comfortable place with my style.  Maybe you can help me figure this out.  In any case I'm going to start by posting more WIWs.

1 -- The last day of Summer.  I think the date on this was October 14, our Summer drags into fall, which some would say is a quality problem.  Super simple with three neutral colors here, blue - black - brown.  And pop of coral near the face.

2 -- The gray colors would look better if I used flash.  But I love the tonal scheme and silhouettes.  I have a mixed emotional relationship with gray.

3 -- This is my new Zara tunic (waving at Debbie my tunic twin).  Here worn with Vince linen sweater which is perfect for October.

4 -- Same sweater, from behind, the front of this outfit is not worth showing.

5 -- A uniform look when I broke the dress code and wore -- gasp -- a  chambray shirt.  No one turned me in.

So I have a uniform, and then another uniform off - duty which relies on jeans + cardigan.  

Thanks for looking!  Thanks for commenting, if you choose to do so!

ETA -- Added picture 4, the rear view of the cardigan.  I missed it the first time.


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WIW inspired by Team YLF

At the fabulous SSIF I saw Inge AND Greg wear this outfit concept!  It consists of white bottoms plus a black top half.  I took a picture of Greg at Dashielle's fun cocktail party, hoping I could get my boyfriend to wear white jeans.  I haven't succeeded at that yet, but I thought I'd try it myself.  I don't have a picture of Inge's outfit but you can see it in Greg's cocktail party pictures thread here.  She wore white jeans, a white shirt and black cropped(ish) tuxedo jacket and looked even more than K-Power, we need to come up with a term for that -- maybe Infinite Killer?  Ultimate K-Power?

White Kut Catherine boyfriend jeans from 2013 (Nordsrom).
Black Daisy tee from UO, from 2014.
Freebird oxfords from 2013 (Shopbop).

I was worried that the muddy color of the daisy would clash with the white jeans but I think it works with the muddy oxfords.

Thanks for looking and commenting!


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WIW: unusual color combination.

Angie listed this as a top trend for the season. It's not easy for me to pull off but I've tried. Here at the San Jose airport ready to board my flight to Seattle !!! This is the first time I've flown since 2008. Needless to say I got in the wrong line and security laughed at me.

I haven't packed so light in ages. These were my first pair of colored jeans. And the only ones I've kept. I got them in 2010 and still like them. Combined with a big pink sweater from Zara. An Angie pick from this past spring.

Thanks for looking !


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WIW - Opera Outfits

At the last minute my Mom took me with her to the opening of the SF Opera this year.  It was Norma by Bellini starring  Sondra Radvanovsky.  She has an amazing voice!  So powerful.  I read a review that her voice kept cracking but I noticed very few flaws.  I am, however, by no means an expert.

So this outfit is nothing compared to the colorful, Oscar-worthy gowns I saw.  I put this together at the last minute.  It's basically my one and only dress, I got it at Zara last year at the Santa Monica meet up with Angie.  Accessorized with a dramatic sliver and gemstone statement necklace belonging to Mom.  Here is the artist Samantha Grisdale, she has moved away from fine jewelry.  I like to think my outfit was understated and not a distraction to the artists as our seats are in row A.  Lol.

1 -- On the red carpet.
2 -- With Mom
3 -- The dress at home, I think I like it better without black tights.

The next night we saw an American opera from 1955 by Carlisle Floyd called Susannah.  I actually preferred the attire of others better this night.  There were less formal but more modern outfits.  I saw a woman, older than myself, in a full leather midi, leather jacket, and leather flat booties who looked amazing.  And the men!  There were some very sharp dressed gentleman.

4 -- My home picture of what I wore.  I didn't get a chance to be photographed.  I added the same silver statement necklace from the night before.
5 -- View from the side.  I got this duster to go with the long shorts.  It worked as a cover up for opening night as well.

6 -- My shopping day outfit, can you guess where I took this picture?  My white leather jacket with sleeves scrunched.

Thanks for looking and commenting!

Inguun if you are reading this you will see I am full of contradictions.  Here I am wearing high contrast booties (picture 4) plus preferring my dress without dark stockings.  Go figure, ephemeral fashion.


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Update: 34-day capsule test, 20 days In (long)

In late July I decided to put myself on a 34-day / 34 item capsule test.  My goals were to "seek first to understand" -- know myself, my behaviors, and wardrobe needs.  And to use this knowledge to pare down my wardrobe to a more manageable level.  I also wanted to come up with a wardrobe count, and thereafter to practice one-in, one out.

Net capsule is up to 35 pieces.  
The work capsule grew, the smart casual capsule shrank.  The casual capsule would like to have permission to increase.  I miss all of my colorful Summer tops.


  • Similar to what I observed after 8 days, my smarter attire needs are minimal.  This is where my closet needs a lot of paring down.
  • By engaging in what's become for me a mindful process, I am better appreciating the clothes that work.  And, I'm having an easier time letting go of what doesn't work.  What's important here is the focus, the mindful observation (= tracking what I'm wearing and why, and observing what I'm not).  3 items from the capsule are on the purge list so far.
  • Unworn items -- smart casual capsule mostly.  Duplicate colors (too many white tees in the capsule) and items with fabric issues (fabric look or feel not stellar - some of my Zara things fall in this category).
  • I crave color variety.  When I created this capsule I had a more limited color palette.  But as each day wore on, I found myself substituting the whites and grays for more colors.  I know cool pale blues and greens aren't my best, but I like the way they make me feel.  Summer is my longest season.  I am going to enjoy all of my casual colorful Summer clothes, they don't take a lot of room, and make me happy.  Conclusion:  I don't need as much paring down from this section -- everything is getting worn.
  • For all of the non-Summer seasons, this color explosion will be unrealistic.  More layers means more clothing.  I must focus on a more limited color palette, because I like a coordinated look.
  • Failure at the shopping ban effort!  I got some sandals (love them!) and another Three Dots Hi-Low top (Missey I'm coming clean!).  I don't like feeling bad about myself.  Or comparing my will power to yours.  I must think twice before joining another shopping ban.  :-(

Some WIWs.
1/2 -- My one and only smart casual occasion was seeing a matinee showing of "100 Foot Journey."  Jean Paul Gaultier sheer pencil skirt, Zara tee. Gorjana necklace.  Here in my "runway" pose. ;-)  Do you think it's better with Birks (picture 2)?  What about length, would midi be better?  Do I need bike shorts due to sheerness (sheerness shows selectively, with flash photography and in certain light).
3 -- Worn today, the new Donald J Pliner slides, and my second Three Dots Hi-Low top.  Thanks again Sarah for the first top!  I have worn these sandals daily since I got them.  They are much better quality than my usual Summer footwear.  The jeans are Mother "The Groupie," my improved Mom jeans (bye-bye BDG Mom jeans, they were great starters but these are so much better).
4 -- A top that's getting the ax.  Love the color, but it's too low cut, the armholes are too big, and it's not my best length (ends where I'm widest).  Do you agree -- purge?
5 -- One of my several colorful striped tees.  Stripes = high happiness factor.  From last year, Madewell.  Worn with TR Camerons 2 + year old workhorse jeans.
6 -- Work look of the moment.  

Feedback appreciated on the italicized areas!  And anything else.


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My capsule test (long)

All of the forum talk of minimal dressing and capsules got me wanting to try it myself.  I decided to do a 34-day capsule as a test, herewith described.  

My goals:  to learn about my existing closet, my dressing habits, my true lifestyle needs, and importantly -- what I don't need.  After 3 years 7 months on YLF I have acquired a big wardrobe.  I like a lot of my pieces too.  But it's become too much, and the sheer choice overwhelms me now rather than makes me happy.  So the capsule test has become my technique to help me edit plus determine a wardrobe count, then to practice one in, one out so I don't end up with the 200-300 pieces I have now (an estimate).

34-day Capsule
I started with a lifestyle assessment of the next 34 days.  Why 34 days?  Because it's a manageable test amount for me, and also lets me build a new capsule for September, where I have different activities planned and the environment changes.  I used's wardrobe planner, and it made the exercise quick.

Lifestyle Needs for August

-35% work outfits
-50% casual and comfortable
-10% smarter casual -  a degree more stylish than casual & comfortable; shopping outfits for example
-5% smartest casual  - similar to smarter casual but dressier, usually involving higher heeled shoes; dinner outfits for example.

Colors for August

Major -- white/cream + blues/indigo
Minor -- black
Accents -- Coral + Green + Gold

Go-to Pieces
White button down shirts
Fluid fit tees
Fitted denim bermuda shorts
Boyfriend jeans
Skinny jeans
Black fashion-forward bottoms (harem pants, long shorts etc)
Mini wedge sandals
Statement necklaces

My Go-to Outfits
Skinny jeans + white button down shirt + black clogs + black waist apron for work.
Boyfriend jeans + fluid tee + sandal
Knee shorts + tunic tee + sandal
Maxi skirt + white tee + sandal
Harem pants + knit top + sandal
Culottes + crop top + sandal

The Count-
Work (11 pieces):
5 work shirts (4 white button downs + 1 teal button down)
1 black clogs
5 work-appropriate jeans (2 skinny jeans + The Groupie jeans + Knee shorts + lightweight skinny jeans)

Smart Casual (7 pieces):
3 black bottoms (JF long shorts, harem pants, long skirt)
Silky Zara tee
Cropped white tee
Raquel Allegra tee
Strappy black mini wedge sandals

Casual (16 pieces):
5 shoes (Birks, Glads, Nude wedges, cognac ankle strap + one wild card)
9 tops (Mandarin white tee, scoop white tee, v white tee, green tee, green stripe tee, coral tank, cobalt tank, coral stripe tee, chambray shirt)
2 shorts (From Wal*Mart in 2 colors)

Pictures - to give you an idea
1 -- Typical casual, at home outfit for August.  Avg. temps are 95 F, the day I took this picture it was 102 F.  
2 -- Smart casual
3 -- Work outfit

Next -- lessons learned.


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